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Berlin is not responsible when US commits war crimes with drones taking off from Germany - court

© US Air Force / J.M. Eddins Jr.
FILE PHOTO: The sun rises over an MQ-9 Reaper drone at the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
Berlin will no longer be required to ensure that US drone strikes coordinated through an air base in Germany are in line with international law, a top court has ruled, in a "severe blow" to a case brought by human rights groups.

The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig concluded that the government has no obligation to guarantee US strikes are in line with humanitarian law beyond basic assurances from US authorities, overturning a ruling from last year that made Berlin partially responsible for such operations.

The case was brought in 2014 by human rights groups on behalf of three Yemeni plaintiffs, who charge that family members were killed by American drones in 2012, and that those strikes used flight control data relayed through the US air base in Ramstein, Germany. One of the plaintiffs, Faisal bin Ali Jaber, called Wednesday's ruling a "severe blow."

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Lukashenko says he will leave position when new constitution is adopted

The Belarusian authorities have called for a national assembly of thousands of people late next month or in January 2021 to discuss proposed constitutional changes.

Belarus has been rocked by protests since an August 9 presidential election handed Lukashenka a sixth term amid allegations of widespread fraud. Protesters say opposition candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya was the real winner of the vote.

Ahead of the August election, Tsikhanouskaya had said that if she's elected president, she'd organize a referendum to bring back the 1994 constitution that limited presidential powers.

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'Immediately terminated': Trump calls for abolishing Section 230 in late night tweet

© Getty Images/Twitter
President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump called Thursday for the "immediate" termination of Section 230, the portion of law granting internet companies immunity from certain lawsuits.

Trump made the comment amid speculation that his administration is planning a flurry of executive actions before President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January. Trump argues Section 230 must be abolished "for purposes of National Security."
It is unclear how Section 230 relates to national security, however. The law prevents all internet companies from being held legally liable for the third party content their users post on their site. It also protects those companies from being sued for how they moderate that content.

Trump and Republicans have argued for years that social media giants like Facebook and Twitter were abusing the immunity to silence conservative voices on their sites.

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Pentagon purges leading advisors from Defense Policy Board

© Unknown
US President Donald Trump
It's unclear why the Trump administration waited until its final months to shake up the influential group of outside experts advising top Pentagon leaders.

Several members of the top federal advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Defense have been suddenly pushed out, multiple U.S. officials told Foreign Policy, in what appears to be the outgoing Trump administration's parting shot at scions of the foreign-policy establishment.

The directive, which the Pentagon's White House liaison Joshua Whitehouse sent on Wednesday afternoon, removes 11 high-profile advisors from the Defense Policy Board, including former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright; retired Adm. Gary Roughead, who served as chief of naval operations; and a onetime ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Jane Harman. Rudy De Leon, a former chief operating officer at the Pentagon once considered by then-Defense Secretary James Mattis for a high-level policy role, will also be ousted.

Also booted in today's sweep of the board, which is effective immediately, were former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and David McCormick, a former Treasury Department undersecretary during the George W. Bush administration. Both had been added to the board by Mattis in 2017. Jamie Gorelick, a Clinton administration deputy attorney general; Robert Joseph, a chief U.S. nuclear negotiator who convinced Libya to give up weapons of mass destruction; former Bush Deputy National Security Advisor J.D. Crouch II; and Franklin Miller, a former top defense official, have also been removed.

Bad Guys

Grifter Obama pushes ANOTHER book, takes racist swipes at Trump voters

barack obama
© REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Barack Obama
Barack Obama has taken a swipe at Hispanic voters who chose Donald Trump, accusing them of ignoring the US president's "racist" comments.

The ex-US president argued some overlooked Mr Trump's rhetoric because they supported his anti-abortion stance. Mr Obama also criticised undocumented migrants being held in "cages", a practice that began in his presidency.

Exit polls show Mr Trump won a larger percentage of Hispanics than in 2016. The Republican president garnered about 32% of the demographic in 2020, up from 28% four years ago.

Comment: Looks likes ole Barry's comments didn't play as well as he'd hoped.

Lest anyone feel left out, Obama included white males in his criticisms:
During an interview with the radio show The Breakfast Club, Obama said that while the existing government "has failed miserably in handling just basic looking after the American people and keeping them safe," millions of people still voted to re-elect Trump because they believed they were "under attack" by Democrats.

"It turns out politics is not just about policy, it's not just about numbers, it's about the stories that are being told," said Obama, who appeared on the show to promote his new book, A Promised Land.

"What's always interesting to me is the degree to which you've seen created in Republican politics the sense that white males are victims," Obama said. "They are the ones who are under attack - which obviously doesn't jive with both history and data and economics. But that's a sincere belief that's been internalized, that's a story that's being told and how you unwind that is going to be not something that is done right away, it's going to take some time."

Later on in the show Wednesday, co-host DJ Envy asked Obama to respond to some criticism from Black people that the former president could have done more for people of color while in office.

"I understand it because when I was elected there was so much excitement and hope, and I also think we generally view the presidency as almost like a monarchy in the sense of once the president's there, he can just do whatever needs to get done and if he's not doing it, it must be because he didn't want to do it," Obama responded.

Envy then argued that Trump has behaved that way, to which Obama responded, "because he breaks laws or disregards the constitution."

"The good news for me was I was very confident in what I had done for Black folks because I have the statistics to prove it," the former president added.
And in the "who cares, but it might sell more copies" department:
In his new book, The Promised Land, the former president explains how he was once going to the beach with their daughter Sasha and Michelle refused to go. He said that she vowed, as first lady, to never be captured on film in a bathing suit.

Obama confirmed this in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine.

He said:
She was serious. 'This is one of my main goals as first lady. I will not be photographed by the paparazzi in a bathing suit.' And she succeeded.
During his eight years as president, Michelle was never pictured in a bathing suit.

However, in 2018, a photograph of her in a white bikini top sparked debate online.

Bad Guys

NINE Aussie soldiers commit suicide as war crimes scandal morphs into shambles, with top brass shielded & squaddies blamed


(L) General Angus Campbell Getty Images / Mick Tsikas - Pool; (R) Screenshot ABC
Canberra failed to deal with atrocities laid bare in a report which found that elite special forces' murder of prisoners and innocent civilians in Afghanistan was "disgraceful." Sadly, the guilty will probably get away with it.

The Australian government's handling of the Afghanistan war crimes scandal has been an utter shambles and, as a result, those responsible are likely to escape punishment entirely.

The Brereton report, handed down last week in redacted form, found that some unnamed 25 soldiers in the elite Australian special forces had committed 39 murders while on duty in Afghanistan. Brereton correctly described this as "a disgraceful and profound betrayal."

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Arrow Up

Situation is not hopeless in Pennsylvania, after dismissal of the case filed there

Voting closed
© AP/Rebecca Blackwell
This particular case involved claims that seven Pennsylvania counties and the Secretary of the Commonwealth inappropriately allowed voters who submitted defective mail-in ballots to "cure" the defect by voting a provisional ballot on election day.

The issues in the case involve whether such a "curing" process is allowable under Pennsylvania law, and whether the actions by the counties and the Secretary of the Commonwealth caused an "injury" to the Plaintiffs by expanding the opportunity for registered voters to cast their ballots.

This case was always going to end up in a dismissal based on a lack of standing on the part of the Plaintiffs to assert the type of claims they were bringing. The controlling case law at the appellate court level dictated the outcome. The purpose of bringing the case was to initiate a process that allows the Trump Campaign's claims to move through the trial court, appeals court, and on to the Supreme Court, which has the authority to overrule lower court "standing" cases and give the Trump Campaign the ability to pursue its claims. You can't get to the Supreme Court without starting in the district court, and the Trump Campaign could only get to the Supreme Court by LOSING.

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Europe must not succumb to the Soros network

Victor Orban
© hungarytoday.hu
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
Reply to the article by George Soros

Many believe that the prime minister of a country should not enter into an argument with George Soros. Their reasoning is that Soros is an economic criminal, because he made his money through speculation, ruining the lives of millions of people, and even blackmailing entire national economies. Just as governments must not negotiate with terrorists, they say, prime ministers must likewise not debate with economic criminals.

Yet now I am compelled to do so, because in an article appearing on the Project Syndicate website on 18 November, the Hungarian-born speculator and billionaire George Soros issued open commands to the leaders of the European Union. In his article he instructs them to severely punish those Member States that do not want to become part of a unifying European empire under the banner of a global "open society".

Throughout history, Europe's strength has always been derived from its nations. Although of different origins, European nations were bound together by the common roots of our faith. The foundation of our communities was the European family model, itself based on Judeo-Christian traditions. It was Christian freedom which ensured freedom of thought and culture, and which created benign competition among the continent's nations. This magnificent amalgam of contrasts made Europe the world's leading power through centuries of history.

Every attempt to unify Europe under the aegis of empire has failed. Thus historical experience tells us that Europe will be great again if its nations become great again, and resist all forms of imperial ambition.

Comment: The challenge is to define ourselves and live by our principles - no matter the threat. As such, the Hungarian prime minister effectively utilizes the imperial commands of the Soros campaign to make a stand and hold steadfast to it - a rare and brave example by today's standards.

Bizarro Earth

19 Australian SAS soldiers accused of unlawful killing of 39 unarmed Afghan prisoners and civilians - report

australian soldiers afghanistan
Australia has told 13 special forces soldiers they face dismissal in relation to a report on alleged unlawful killings in Afghanistan, the head of the country's army said on Friday.

An independent report published last week in redacted form said there was evidence that 39 unarmed Afghan prisoners and civilians were killed by 19 Australian soldiers.

None of the 19 soldiers were identified in the report, which was written by a state judge appointed by the inspector-general of defence. The 19 current and former soldiers have been referred for possible prosecution.

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Bad Guys

Biden's cabinet will push US into more 'forever wars' - Analysts

Projected President-elect Joe Biden's top cabinet selections, deeply tied to the defence industry, will likely ensure US troops get stuck in more intractable military conflicts, analysts told Sputnik.

On Tuesday, Biden announced his selection of Antony Blinken as secretary of state, Jake Sullivan as national security adviser, Avril Haines as director of national intelligence and Alejandro Mayorkas to lead the Department of Homeland Security.

Biden's picks are all Obama-era officials with whom the former vice president has worked side by side and who supported the foreign policies of then-president Barack Obama and ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, including intervention in Libya, a controversial approach to militants in Syria, the drawn-out withdrawal from Iraq, and others.

Comment: See also: Who's your daddy? Here's why European leaders are swooning over Biden's warmongering 'back to normal' team